art by Eleanor Bennett
by Henry Szabranski
The water's glassy surface reflects the boardwalk and the mist that drifts above it. Pine scent lingers in the chill air. The only sounds are the clomp-clomp-clomp of your feet, the slow rumble of the bicycle's tires across the uneven planks, the tick-tick-tick of the chain winding over the gears. Soon even these come to a halt.
Steps lead down to the water.
You shiver. There is nowhere left to go.
You glance back along the boardwalk towards the shore, past a rusty old signpost that leans precariously over the water, its compass arrows quartering what remains of the world. But the shore is gone, consumed by the fog that has rolled over the hills like a ghostly avalanche. It has pursued you for days, an unshakeable shadow, relentless as your own guilt.
Once there had been colors apart from the drifting grey. Other sounds, other tastes and smells. They are gone, faded memories, and even the shades of grey are leaching away. Soon you fear there will be just one color left. You have no idea if it will be white or black or something else entirely. You grip the bike's handlebars.